Foods to ease anxiety and stress

Many people are feeling anxious and stressed at the moment, but what you eat can make you feel better about things.

Anxiety and stress can affect a person’s ability to work or participate in other activities.

Some of the management options for anxiety and stress can include exercise, relaxation and correct breathing techniques.

Another way to overcome these feelings of anxiety and stress is through a dietary adjustment.

Nicotine, caffeine and stimulant drugs (such as those that contain caffeine) trigger your adrenal glands to release adrenaline, which is one of the main stress chemicals. These are best avoided.

Other foods to avoid include salt and artificial additives, such as preservatives. 

There are many foods you can add to your diet that will help overcome feelings of anxiety.

The mineral magnesium helps muscle tissue to relax, and a magnesium deficiency can contribute to anxiety, depression and insomnia. Inadequate intake of vitamin B and calcium can also exacerbate anxiety symptoms.

Wholegrain cereals
Wholegrains are high in fibre and really good for you! These include corn, brown rice, quinoa, oats, rye and barley.

Wholegrains contain a type of amino acid that makes your body produce ‘serotonin’ – also known as the ‘happy chemical’. Serotonin helps calm the mind, improve your mood, and keep your sleep cycle on track – all of which is helpful for maintaining a good headspace.

If you’re feeling down or low on energy, eating some brown rice, corn, or quinoa can help release more of the happy chemical into your body. You could even start your day off with a healthy bowl of oats for a wholegrain booster.

Spinach, silverbeet, etc
Leafy green vegetables are rich in magnesium, which is important to make your bodyrelax.

Asparagus
Rich in potassium, fibre, vitamins A, C, E and K, asparagus is also known to reduce anxiety, so much so that the Chinese government has approved asparagus extract as a natural functional food for its anxiety reducing properties.

Dark chocolate
You probably already know that chocolate can improve your mood, this is because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to anxiety. The high flavonoid content in dark chocolate also stimulates blood flow to the brain, which may improve cognition and mood.

What foods do you eat to reduce your stress and anxiety?

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